7 R Data Science Influencers to Follow

Among data scientists and analysts, R has long held its own against Python in the battle to determine the “best” analytical programming language. Statisticians and numerically-savvy academics of all stripes have typically preferred R to Python, so lots of R&D—both inside the ivory tower and in various industries— gets done in R.

Part of R’s popularity comes from its dizzying array of packages, contributed by a lively community of developers. As of January 2017, there were 10,000 R packages available for download, a milestone that testifies to its wide-spread adoption across lots of different industries.

Still, for all its flexibility, R remains true to its roots as a statistical programming language. Stack Overflow’s 2017 survey found that while R is growing in every industry surveyed, it’s growing fastest in sectors that lean heavily on statistics: academia, healthcare, and government.

Whether you’re new to the R for data science community, or you’re already an active package-creator or analyst, listening in on conversations among influencers is great way to stay up to speed and find the most relevant news about R for data science.

On the heels of releasing support for R in Mode’s integrated Notebooks, we’ve compiled a list of the people we follow most closely in the R data science community. If you want to stay in the know, here are 7 people you should follow on Twitter.


1) Hadley Wickham. Author of R for Data Science (with Garrett Grolemund), chief scientist at RStudio, and author of the tidyverse packages, including ggplot2, plyr, dplyr, and reshape2.

Follow Hadley: @hadleywickham

2) Mara Averick. Tidyverse developer advocate at RStudio. Open source contributor and civic tech advocate.

Follow Mara: @dataandme

3) Roger Peng. Professor at Johns Hopkins Department of Biostatistics. Author of R Programming for Data Science. Co-editor of Simply Statistics. Co-host of the podcast The Effort Report (with Elizabeth Matsui).

Follow Roger: @rdpeng

4) Hilary Parker. Data scientist at Stitch Fix. Co-host of the podcast Not So Standard Deviations.

Follow Hilary: @hspter

5) Gabriela de Queiroz. Founder of RLadies (@RLadiesGlobal). Data scientist, mentor, advisor.

Follow Gabriela: @gdequeiroz

6) David Robinson. Chief data scientist at DataCamp. Co-author of tidytext and Text Mining with R. Author of the broom, gganimate, and fuzzyjoin packages, and Introduction to Empirical Bayes.

Follow David: @drob

7) Julia Silge. Data science and visualization at StackOverflow, co-author of tidytext and Text Mining with R.

Follow Julia: @juliasilge


Are there R data science influencers you think we should add to this list? We’d love to hear who you follow! Tweet at us @ModeAnalytics. Or, reach out on the Mode forum, where you can talk to other analysts and data scientists and compare notes.